Top American Baby Names: Did Your Kid’s Name Make the List?


Jacob, Sophia and more of this year’s most popular American baby names.

By Sasha Emmons,

While bizarro celebrity names (North West, anyone?) are the ones that make headlines, what are American baby names are the rest of us choosing for our kids these days?

Most parents eschew out-there names for more traditional picks, with some gradual influence from pop culture events. In general, the same names appear on the annual Social Security Administration list year after year, with just a few newcomers cracking the top 10 each year. In 2012, the latest data we have available, biblical and “Twilight”-inspired Jacob (#1 for boys for 14 years now) reigned, while timeless Sophia claimed the top spot for girls.

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Here, we explain the meanings of the top 10 baby names for each gender.

Top American Baby Names for Boys

  • Jacob: The top name has its roots in Hebrew, and means “one who grasps by the heel or supplanter.”
  • Mason: Rising in popularity due to Kourtney Kardashian choosing it for her son, Mason is an English name that means “one who works with stone.”
  • Ethan: A Hebrew name, this moniker means “constancy.”
  • Noah: Its biblical connotation looms large, but this cute, short name also means “small.”
  • William: This princely name may enjoy increased popularity in coming years, thanks to royal fever. An ancient Germanic name, it means “determined protector.”
  • Liam: Tori Spelling chose this for her oldest son; a shortened version of William, it also means “determined protector.”
  • Jayden: Will Smith and Britney Spears gave this name prominence by choosing it for their sons. It means “the precious stone.”
  • Michael: Uber-traditional, this name means “who resembles God.”
  • Alexander: Rooted in Greek, this name means “protector of men.”
  • Aiden: A gaelic name, it means “flame.”

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Top American Baby Names for Girls

  • Sophia: A chic name that calls to mind screen legend Sophia Loren, Sophia is a Greek name that means “wisdom.”
  • Emma: A choice with literary cred thanks to Jane Austen’s novel of the same name as well as main character in Flaubert’s “Madame Bovary,” Emma means “universal.”
  • Isabella: More “Twilight” influence? This elegant name, often shorted to Izzy or Bella, means “God’s promise.”
  • Olivia: A Latin name meaning “olive,” this name could be on the rise due to the popularity of the soapy TV series “Scandal,” centered a character named Olivia Pope.
  • Ava: A Hebrew name meaning “life,” Ava calls to mind Hollywood screen legend Ava Gardner.
  • Emily: This sweet Latin name, which brings to mind poet Emily Dickinson, means “eager.”
  • Abigail: A Hebrew name meaning “exalted father,” this old-fashioned name is a good example of the granny chic name trend.
  • Mia: Synonymous with pixie-cut cuteness thanks to Mia Farrow, this choice means “wished-for child.”
  • Madison: This name, wish means “person from Magdala” (a region in France) ruled the early 2000s but has fallen off in recent years.
  • Elizabeth: Like William, this royal name, which means “God’s promise,” will likely get a boost from royal mania.

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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